‘Without Selcare, I Wouldn’t Be Alive’

The Selangor Heart Treatment Scheme helped cover a 43-year-old’s RM55,000 heart bypass surgery at IJN. Consultations and meds cost over RM1,000 per visit before the operation; his last post-op check-up cost RM3,000. “Without Selcare, I wouldn’t be alive.”

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 – Anbananthan Palanipa Kaunder, a 43-year-old father of five, lost his job as a lorry driver due to heart disease three years ago. 

His wife now supports the family as the sole provider, earning RM1,600 monthly at a factory.

Anbananthan was diagnosed with heart disease in June 2020 and initially sought treatment at a private hospital using insurance. However, his insurance claim was denied because he had not completed two years of premium payments, as required by the policy, before he could use it.

Anbananthan sought treatment at Selayang Hospital in Selangor instead during the height of the Covid pandemic. At Selayang Hospital, he was referred to the National Heart Institute (IJN), where he was informed that he qualified for the Selangor State Heart Treatment Scheme, administered by state-owned third party administrator (TPA) Selcare Management.

Being a recipient of Skim Rawatan Jantung Negeri Selangor allows Anbananthan to regularly consult with doctors and obtain medication at IJN every three months. 

In June 2023, he underwent bypass surgery at IJN, where doctors performed artery grafting to his heart. Following the operation, he now visits the private hospital every six months for medical check-ups, covering blood tests, scans, consultations, and medication. 

“I’m currently taking six different types of medication, including blood thinners. My next check-up is in June, and I hope to continue receiving financial support for this. 

“Without Selcare, I wouldn’t be alive. There is no way I could afford a RM55,000 operation,” Anbananthan told CodeBlue in an interview.

“Before the operation, every doctor’s consultation and medication cost over RM1,000 per visit. After the operation, it’s more expensive. My last post-operation check-up amounted to about RM3,000.

“My only hope is that I can continue to get the necessary medical care and treatment from Selcare. For B40 families like us, what other options do we have?”

The Selangor State Heart Treatment Scheme provides Iltizam Selangor Sihat (ISS) members with a household income of below RM3,000 monthly with heart screening, surgical procedures, and maximum two follow-up treatments. Coverage for treatment is limited to RM50,000.

For non-ISS members who earn below RM8,000 monthly, the Selangor State Heart Treatment Scheme covers surgical procedures at a maximum of RM50,000. 

Straightforward and Easy Process for Iltizam Selangor Sihat 

Skim Rawatan Jantung Selangor recipients at an event with Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari. Photo by Selgate Group of Companies.

The Selangor state government allocated RM59.7 million in Budget 2024 last November for public health, including for the ISS programme, Bantuan Sihat Selangor, the Selangor State Heart Treatment Scheme, and Civil Servants Iltizam Selangor Sihat (ISSPA).

Selcare Management Sdn Bhd – a Selgate Healthcare subsidiary under Selangor state-owned Selgate Corporation – is tasked with ensuring that eligible individuals receive benefits from various state health programmes.

Ng Peng Soon, 55, lives with his two university-going children and cares for his elderly father. While currently looking for work, Ng can still access medical care at private general practitioner (GP) clinics when needed, thanks to the ISS programme.

Ng has been receiving support from ISS for a year now. The programme provides up to RM70 coverage per GP visit, while patients cover the balance if needed in co-payments.

“I will normally go to the clinic for outpatient care like flu, cough, and fever. I can use Iltizam Selangor Sihat for my children and myself. It’s a straightforward process. All we do is show our ICs at a panel clinic, and we can get treatment,” Ng told CodeBlue when contacted. 

Ng is generally healthy, but has high cholesterol. “I hope the Selangor state government will continue this programme. The programme has been really helpful in taking care of my children and myself,” Ng said.

For 25-year-old Ann Jamal, being an ISS recipient means not having to worry about falling ill. Ann currently works as a clerk at a clinic, earning between RM2,000 and RM3,000 monthly, and resides in Subang Jaya with her sister. 

“I typically visit Klinik Selcare in USJ for medical treatment, usually for common symptoms like flu, fever, or diarrhoea,” Ann shared with CodeBlue during a phone interview. 

“On average, I may need to visit the clinic about three times a year, so having Iltizam Selangor Sihat makes it really easy when you are ill.”

Selcare Expansion: Inpatient Treatment, Dialysis Centres, Stop-Gap Funding For Dialysis Patients

Selgate Healthcare managing director and CEO Muaz Omar speaks to CodeBlue in an interview in Kuala Lumpur on January 30, 2024. Photo by Boo Su-Lyn.

Selangor’s ISS programme, initially known as Skim Peduli Sihat, expanded from primary care to vaccination, screening, and now also covers inpatient treatment at selected panel hospitals at up to RM10,000 annually under Budget 2024.

Selgate Healthcare managing director and CEO Muaz Omar revealed that the state-owned health care provider plans to provide dialysis centres at its hospitals that it’s planning to open.

Its first planned hospital, Selgate Rawang Hospital, is expected to be completed by June and to begin operating next year.

Muaz said Selcare also plans to provide stop-gap funding to cover people for three to six months after confirmation from their doctor that they need dialysis, as such patients usually need to pay for treatment first in that period.

He explained the role of the state government of Selangor, the country’s most industrialised state, in providing state-subsidised health care to residents through multiple health programmes developed over the past seven years since 2017.

Besides ISS, Bantuan Sihat Selangor provides monetary aid of up to RM5,000 to bear treatment costs such as dialysis, cataract surgery, minor surgery, cancer treatment, transportation costs, and medical aid tools.

The Selangor Saring programme provides fully subsidised health screening programmes that include physical exams; blood and urine tests; iFOBT test to check for colon cancer; HPV tests to check for cervical cancer; prostate tests; mammograms; eye, dental, and ear exams; as well as physiotherapy.

“We developed the programmes for the state,” Muaz told CodeBlue in an interview. “Governments have a responsibility for health care.”

Selcare Management not only runs the Selangor state government’s health care programmes, but had set up a similar programme for Kedah, called Kasih Ibu Darul Aman, in the first two to three years.

The TPA owned by the Selangor state government under Pakatan Harapan currently administers Terengganu’s Kad Sejahtera state health programme and the Perak Sejahtera state welfare programme. Terengganu is governed by Perikatan Nasional.

Selcare Management – which boasts a network of over 2,000 panel clinics and more than 200 panel hospitals nationwide – has assisted and served more than half a million families and individuals across Malaysia.

“Health doesn’t care about political skin colour,” Muaz said. 

You may also like